On October 3rd, life changed for the loan and settlement forms. What formerly was the HUD-1 and Good Faith Estimate has now been replaced a new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. This is all being done under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act which will greatly improve the settlement process for consumers.

There will also be changes to the closing process which will greatly affect realtors. The new Closing Disclosure must be given to the consumer 3 days prior to the closing which will give them plenty of time to review the document. Many times with the old HUD-1, consumers never saw the document until they got to the closing table and that sometimes created problems. Although changes can be made to the new Closing Disclosure, if necessary, it

12 Views, 0 Comments

>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." --Woody Allen, American actor, writer, director, and comedian

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Making that money, however, can be a challenge in the housing market. We were reminded of that once again last week when Pending Home Sales came in down 1.4% in August, following their steady climb the first half of the year. However, this index of contracts signed on existing homes is still 6.1% ahead of where it was in August a year ago.Pending homes sales in fact remain at a healthy level of activity, having risen year-over-year for the last 12 months in a row. Best of all, the index is ahead of where it was a year ago in all regions of the country,

6 Views, 0 Comments

As you drive down US41 toward Marco Island, you can't help but notice the Lely Freedom Horses adorning the entrance to Lely Resort on the left hand side.

Each of the five horses is one and one quarter life size, made from bronze and weighing in at 1500 pounds. There is one stallion and four mares. The stallion was modeled from the horse that Robert Redford rode in the movie "Electric Horseman. When the making of the movie finished, Mr. Redford purchased the horse named Rising Star and loaned him to Veryl Goodnight, the sculptor, which she used as a model.

The sculptures have been engineered to withstand a wind of 110 miles per hour. Interestingly, just one week after they were installed, hurricane Andrew hit and the horses survived literally without

16 Views, 0 Comments

>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "It ain't over 'til it's over." --In memoriam, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (1925-2015), American baseball great

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Sadly, Yogi's time with us is now over, but beyond the baseball memories he leaves are his humorous, often wise, "Yogi-isms." The one quoted here is a pithy comment on why persistence makes sense. And persistence makes perfect sense if we're going to weather the twists and turns of today's housing market. August, for example, gave us Existing Home Sales twisting down 4.8%, while New Home Sales turned solidly up. But a closer look at the data showsexisting home sales are still up 6.2% over a year ago and came in at a decent 5.31 million unit annual rate. Plus,
17 Views, 0 Comments

>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing." --Robert Benchley, American humorist, newspaper columnist, and film actor

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Some people felt there was really nothing to say after Housing Starts dropped 3.0% in August, to a 1.126 million annual rate. But, as usual, a deeper dive into the data gives us plenty to talk about. While it's obvious that home building took a summer break in August, it's been pretty active the last 12 months, with starts in that period up 14.9% for single-family units and up 16.6% overall. Some see that trend continuing at least through the end of 2016. They say that with population growth and tear downs, housing starts need to get
40 Views, 0 Comments

COMMENTARY: As we entered this week, financial markets and Wall Street analysts were deeply divided about the likelihood of a 25 basis-point hike in the Fed's benchmark short-term interest rate on Thursday.  As we crept up on the 2pm announcement,  the "better-safe-than-sorry" mindset drove investors to the sidelines and mortgage rates took a sizable jump.  Does anyone recall Chicken Little?  When Thursday’s announcement finally materialized with the Fed standing pat in a 9-1 vote, rates eased back down to where we ended the Friday before.  Committee members justified the decision by saying they are concerned that recent developments in the global economy may "restrain economic activity somewhat" on Main Street, USA.  I am reminded of the Bard of Avon who

57 Views, 0 Comments

>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." --Mark Twain, American author and humorist 

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE...For the housing market to get ahead, we need more homes to get started, but that's not happening fast enough. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted that job market growth is powering a strong housing market, but it's also linked to declines in new home starts. The study revealed that in 146 metro areas with big employment gains, new home construction is "underperforming." The NAR's chief economist explains, "as the labor market began to strengthen, homebuilding failed to keep up." This  "lagging new home construction -- especially single-family --  has kept
63 Views, 0 Comments

>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." --Milton Berle, American comedian

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE...Home builders are building plenty of doors, sending single family construction spending up 2.1%  in July over June, and up 15.8% over a year ago. In fact, single family spending was the leading driver of total private residential construction spending in July. Single family starts rose 12.9% to a 782,000 annual rate, an 8-year high and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is forecasting single family spending will accelerate through the rest of this year. The NAHB's chairman noted, "Our builders are reporting more confidence in the market and are stepping up production of single family homes…
66 Views, 0 Comments

>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "The shortest answer is doing the thing." --Ernest Hemingway, American author and journalist

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We certainly need no lengthy explanations concerning what's doing in the new home market. In July new single-family home sales headed up 5.3%, to a 507,000 unit annual rate, and are now up 25.8% over a year ago. These sales cooled off in June, but looking at the past year, new home sales averaged their fastest sales pace since 2008. Consequently, inventories gained by 4,000, yet the months' supply dropped from 5.3 in June to 5.2 in July. That faster selling pace gives builders a nice opportunity to step up construction activity and inventories. Remember, new home sales are still well
89 Views, 0 Comments

COMMENTARYIf you only looked at mortgage rates every Friday to determine what’s going on with the economy, you’d be inclined to believe that not much happened this past week and you’d be dead wrong.  The week began with a tumultuous drop in US stock values on Monday as a continuation of the previous week’s market upheaval.  Following this up on Tuesday was the Peoples' Bank of China cutting short-term interest rates by 25 basis-points. With such dire happenings in the rear-view mirror, the surprises kept coming with the scale evening out as Wednesday’s economic reports in the US showing Durable Goods orders considerably outpacing expectations along with Thursday’s Q2 GDP growth sporting a 3.7% pace when most agreed that 2.3% to 2.5% growth was

96 Views, 0 Comments